After ringing in the new year and not sleeping all night, I started to reflect on 2017 and decided to focus on a few priorities for 2018. No, I was not partying all night either. About a month ago I went strict Paleo diet. We went to a party with the kids and I decided to indulge on some non Paleo items. Needless to say my reflux flared back up and I struggled with sleep all night.
This reinforced my decision to focus on nutrition and health. In addition, I will plan some financial goals.
Personal Finance Goals
1. Invest $16,000 in our childrens 529 accounts.
We agreed after the birth of our first child that we will assume the expense of their education, up to a undergraduate degree. If they decide to go further, they will need to fund it or better yet get an advanced degree for free.
Our kids will turn five and two this year and we have a little over $50,000 contributed to these accounts already. We still have a lot of contributions to make to fully fund these accounts. Ideally we can complete this in the next five years.
We are still hopeful that we remain in Georgia and they both qualify for the Hope Scholarship. Time will tell if this is a worthwhile investment. I’d rather plan for the worst. That is, they both get accepted to Ivy League and we have to pay in total.
2. Contribute at least $5,000 to our kids DRIP accounts.
Previously I mentioned that my oldest son’s Disney DRIP was nearly funded at $5,000. Well, last month when I looked at the statement, the balance was over $5,100 due to Disney appreciating. Time to find another company for him.
I will discuss this in a later post.
3. Max out Mrs. TPM’s 401k and supplemental plans
This is a standard 401k plan with her employer. She has maxed out this plan for the last eight years. This should be a fairly easy goal to achieve. Usually it is maxed out well before the year end. The supplement is funded from her bonus, if she gets one this year.
4. Set up an individual 401k and contribute at least $18,000
In September of 2017 I decided to leave early retirement and start a consulting company, part time. The opportunity was fantastic. I have been working no more than 20 hours a week and the work life balance has been excellent so far. Although, after taking this role, I don’t have nearly enough time to devote to this blog. But for now this is ok. My time value of money is much better with the consulting gig.
I attempted to get this i401k plan set up before the New Year, but failed to get all the paper work filed before the 12/31 deadline. The tax savings would have been minimal as revenues booked in 2017 were not material.
5. Invest at least $50,000 in taxable accounts
I may be sandbagging this one this year as last year we contributed over $100k, but this year doesn’t appear as rosy in the bonus department. Since I left my job, I will not get a bonus.
6. Generate at least $15,000 in passive income from dividends
$15,000 would be a lot more than 2017. I think we can achieve this unless we see some of our investments cut their dividend. Let’s hope 2018 is a fantastic year with companies returning more money to shareholders thanks to the tax cuts.
7. Increase our Net Worth by $250,000 not including our home or 529 accounts
8. Work at least 20 hours per week on my consulting gig through the contract date
This would enable me to generate about $10,000 in revenue per month. This money will help pay for the other goals listed above.
9. Attempt to get a contract extension or new contract
This one is rather tricky. Many companies put restrictions on the duration a contractor can be employed for. Usually after 12 or 18 months they enforce a rule that the contractor has to be let go for a few months before bringing them back. Time will tell if I can navigate this one. Its really not the end of the world. Work is very much optional right now.
10. Continue blogging at least 1x per week.
I have to admit, there are some weeks when I barely have enough time to post. I started off pretty consistently posting at least 2x per week, but that has tapered off significantly over the holiday’s. I wish I had a backlog of content. I doubt I will ever have enough time to get there with the consulting and my role as primary care giver to the kids. When my wife is out of town, which is fairly regular, I barely have time to exercise or cook let alone find time to write.
Health and Personal Goals
11. Eat a Paleo Diet all year
I started eating paleo the month of December. I started eating this way due to indigestion and acid reflux getting the best of me. After about a year of bloat, I was cured after two weeks of improving my diet.
I feel so much better. Its really amazing how you feel when you cut the processed food out of your diet.
The only downside is the amount of time it takes preparing healthy meals and the added expense of eating quality food.
12. Limit alchohol consumption to weekends.
I got into a bad habit of closing the night with a glass of wine or a IPA or two. Really it became a celebratory nightcap after getting the kids to sleep. I want to remove this habit. I tend to sleep much deeper and generally feel better without it.
13. Exercise at least 3 times per week
This is more of a maintenance goal. I have been pretty good at running or weight training.
14. Finally celebrate our 10 year anniversary (2 years late)
We are finally taking a trip in a few months. Here’s a picture of what we expect.
I have to admit 14 goals seems ambitious, but I believe all of these are achievable unless there is some catastrophe this year. Probably the hardest change will be the maintaining the dietary restrictions I started in December.
Cheers (or lack there of) for 2018!